Making a glaze for your favorite pineapple baked ham is so quick and easy. The glaze should reflect the ingredients used to cook the ham, and, so here, it is pineapple juice with the lovely flavor of star anise. And, for sweetness and ultimate stickiness, the soft brown sugar. Just three ingredients, but they pack a punch in taste.
Making the glaze from scratch is seriously easy; three ingredients and a few minutes of your time are all it takes. Plus, you also know each ingredient that is in the glaze, so there are no nasty additives or preservatives, reflecting well in the clean flavor on the finished ham. The glaze does not need any thickener either, just a gentle boil, and as the glaze reduces, it thickens.
Once the ham has gone through its initial cooking and ready to be finished in the oven is when the glaze should be added. You will paint the fat on the top of the ham with the glaze a few times before pulling it from the oven.
Gather the ingredients.
Put the pineapple juice and star anise into a saucepan. Place over medium heat, and simmer for 5 minutes, to give the star anise a chance to infuse into the juice.
Add the brown sugar to the saucepan again over medium heat and stir gently until the sugar has completely dissolved. Raise the heat and allow the syrup to boil until it turns golden brown and reduces by two-thirds, and becomes a thick sticky glaze—this will take 6 to 7 minutes. Once ready, remove from the heat immediately and keep to one side to cool a little before using.
Using the Glaze
Use the glaze on your favorite baked ham by painting the fat with the glaze and follow the instructions in your recipe. Some will call for you to baste from time to time, but be careful not to add too much, or it can become too sweet, and overpower the lovely taste of the ham.
Change the Glaze
Feel free to add a few different ingredients for a little variety. Try adding a teaspoon or two of soy sauce to the glaze while it is cooling for an added boost of salt and umami. Or, sprinkle over a light dusting of chili flakes once the ham comes out of the oven but do this very sparingly to avoid making the ham glaze too hot, you want just a little prickle of heat, no more.